WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The United States intends to send thousands more troops to Saudi Arabia following last month's drone attacks on Saudi oil production facilities, sources with knowledge of the situation have told Reuters.
The sources did not clarify troop numbers, but said it would be in the "thousands."
The Defense Department has yet to comment on the reports.
One of the news agency's sources said that in addition to the troops, the U.S. was considering deploying additional air defenses to the kingdom.
The Pentagon reported in September on plans to deploy an additional Patriot missile system battery, four Sentinal radar systems, and approximately 200 support personnel to beef up Saudi security in the wake of the oil facility attacks.
Multiple drones infiltrated Saudi airspace on September 14, seriously damaging two major oil processing facilities and temporarily knocking out some 5.7 million barrels of the country's daily oil output. The company expects to return to full capacity next month, but has warned that global inaction could lead to further similar attacks.
The Houthis Ansarullah movement in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks, and threatened more unless Saudi Arabia and its allies ended their four year campaign in the war-torn country. The Houthis have been launching retaliatory attacks on Saudi infrastructure, military facilities and population centers for several years using drones and ballistic missiles. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Persian Gulf allies began an operation in Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to restore the country's ousted president.
Workers repair damaged facilities at Saudi Aramco's crude oil processing plant following a drone attack on Sept. 14, 2019.